Society

Thinking Beyond Checkpoints, Fences, and Armed Guards

Read Time: 4 min.

I grew up at the tail end of the Cold War, watching the Berlin wall fall down when I was ten. My mom told me stories about safety drills in the 1960s, when she and her classmates would hide under desks in the event of a nuclear attack. Fortunately this was not my reality, and I was able to blissfully continue on with my childhood as if big threats were a thing of the past. Over the next 20 years, ...

Watching Our Heroes Fall from Grace

Read Time: 4 min.

What has happened to all the role models? It seems like they’ve started dropping like flies. In light of the recent sexual assault allegations in particular, it feels like the “good” ones are being proven just as bad as anyone else. In other words, they’re not who we thought they were. Have you heard the saying, “never meet your heroes”? Meeting your heroes humanizes them—their capes come off and ...

The Superpower of Representation

Read Time: 3 min.

When I was in the third grade, a film came out and my classmates and I couldn’t have been more excited. This film was the latest installment in a series that our moms and dads grew up with. It took place in a far-off land. There were epic battle scenes, fun characters, and who could forget the score? The film was Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. I know the prequels get a lot of vitriol and...

The Consequences of Not Making a Difference

Read Time: 3 min.

I was eleven when I first read Number the Stars, my first introduction to the 20th-century atrocity known as the Holocaust. I was fourteen when Schindler’s List won the Academy Award for Best Picture. I was sixteen when I watched it for the first time, finally receiving permission from my parents to watch it with my AP US history class. I was nineteen when my World Civilization professor preached ...

The Content of Haitian Character

Read Time: 4 min.

Add me to the list of people bristling over the recent words of the President of the United States of America. I don’t consider myself an especially political person; I did not vote for Trump or Clinton. My thoughts today are a discussion of human dignity and human rights as much as they are a response to an insensitive statement made by the leader of the free world. The people of Haiti were broug...

Missing in Action—The Voices We Don’t Hear

Read Time: 3 min.

Last month, I researched a story on churches and the problem of sexual harassment and assault. As I proceeded, it became clear that voices were missing in the national dialogue we were having; those of African-American women and other minorities.  (I reached out to a prominent African-American scholar to ask why – but that’s another story!) Ironic, isn’t it, that while a black woman launched the #...

Human Rights

Read Time: 3 min.

One good definition of human rights is “opportunities and safeguards that ought to be available to all humans, simply by virtue of their being human.” There is plenty of disagreement about which things fall in this category, but some of the rights that most people agree on include the right to life, safety, and freedom; the right to food, shelter, clothing, and basic medical care; the right to bas...

Sexual Harassment, Culture, and Healing

Read Time: 2 min.

Matt Lauer. Charlie Rose. Representative John Conyers. Garrison Keillor (!) One by one, our cultural icons seem to be falling to a wave of allegations (and carefully sourced stories) of sexual harassment brought by women who, in some cases, seem to have kept their secrets for decades. Whether it’s the force of the #MeToo movement, a reaction to the election of a President who is himself accused of...

Is all the noise worth it?

Read Time: 2 min.

Advertising really bothers me. I try really hard to tune it out. I know I’m not the only one, because we’ve watched Google make their sponsored results (their ads) blend in more and more with their normal, organic results over time—to keep us from tuning them out. And each time they make the distinction more subtle, we learn to recognize the difference and ignore the ads. So they try again. Advert...

Nobody “just likes stuff.”

Read Time: 3 min.

Consumerism: I’m the problem. When I told my wife that I was working on a piece about consumerism, I was met with laughter. Not a chuckle. Not a giggle. But the full-on rumbling roar that accompanies a genuine belly laugh. I wanted to feign pearl-clutching shock, but the only thing I could do is laugh right alongside her. See, I’ve known my wife since we were both barely teenagers and my unquencha...

Why Athletes Become Heroes

Read Time: 4 min.

Mediocre. That is how I would describe my athletic prowess as a child. But that didn’t prevent me from wanting to play in the majors. I started playing baseball at age six, and my dad coached our team for five or six years. I cherished the time we got to spend together, but baseball wasn’t the only sport we enjoyed—we watched all of them. As a child of the 90s, I grew up in an era of legends. Bret...

Anyone else feeling numb yet?

Read Time: 4 min.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m numb. There’s just…too much. Maybe it started with the Columbine shooting. Maybe it was 9/11. They seemed to compound from there. There was a loss of this generation’s cultural innocence in those early days when we saw that bad things don’t just happen to other countries but they happen here. When the September 11th attacks occurred, we were all in a state of s...

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